The only emotion I feel as I type these lines is gratitude to God, the author and finisher of my destiny. It's been twenty-two years since I walked down the aisle with my dear husband. Twenty-two long years, gone by already. It's actually supposed to be twenty-three years because our traditional wedding took place in 1992, but because my dear father passed on soon after that, the wedding had to be shifted to November 1993 because, back then, my town Urualla observed mourning rites for a total of one year, as against the six month period of today, so my uncles decided it was best to leave the wedding till November 1993. So, on the 6th day of November, I became Mrs Amunike and bid goodbye to spinsterhood.
When I got married, my friends and some members of my family were shocked to say the least. They kept on saying I was too little to wear the marital garb. Well, my parents didn't think so. They were confident about giving away their teenage daughter in marriage, and with mixed feelings of fear, uncertainty, and curiosity, I walked into the institution of marriage, young as I was, not knowing what exactly to expect.
I remember with nostalgia, the early days. It wasn't an easy piece of pie for me. But I thank God Almighty for all the moments that have made it remarkable. The good moments that made me happy; the sad moments that made me strong; the trial periods that made me seek the face of God; the weak moments that made me value strength when it eventually came; the moments of disappointment that made me understand that life really isn't the bed of roses I had lain on all my life; I could go on and on!
I do not intend to say much about my marriage today. No. I just want to acknowledge the fact that God is a faithful and covenant keeping God. Indeed, He is. In this day and age when marriages no longer stand the test of time, I feel really blessed to have weathered the storm of the marriage Institution and actually still walk tall in the marital terrain for this number of years. Thank you Jesus!
This presently brings me to the burning question, 'What is the reason for the numerous broken marriages of today? Why is it the order of the day?' Is it that couples just started making wrong choices unlike before when people made perfect choices? I use the term perfect choices because I know that there is nothing like a perfect choice out there. No couple is perfect indeed. I told a colleague of mine just yesterday that all marriages are managed by both parties. It's a collective effort by the man and woman to see that they both live together under one roof for as long as they can. This can be either simple or difficult depending on the levels of commitment they feel towards this joint venture they both mutually agreed to embark on. It is easier when the marriage is blessed with kids, because children have a way of making the marital bond stronger than it would ordinarily be. Most childless marriages do not survive because, when things get really tough, and the woman feels that she can no longer take it, she leaves without looking back. What is there to fall back on? What is there to miss? She takes a walk and never looks back. As for the man, more often than not, he would naturally adopt a 'good riddance to bad rubbish' attitude when he woman leaves, because he doesn't feel particularly bonded to her. The bonding catalyst which is the fruit of the womb is absent so, when the woman leaves, he gradually goes in search for a replacement that would actually produce the much needed children for him.
If however, the woman is wise enough to sit back and keep managing the man, the marriage might even last for twenty years and maybe in the process, produce a child or children! So, you see, it's all about managing properly by both partners, and not about making perfect choices at all.
The sad truth is that the bitter part of marriage actually supercedes the sweet part. This is a very hard truth. Every couple is a manager in this joint business venture called marriage, so, no manager wants to be considered a failure in his business, and therefore strives to make it work at all costs. If you allow your business to crumble, then it is only natural that even if you end up building it again, you must definitely lose credibility, not only in the eyes of your customers, but also in the eyes of your suppliers. Therefore, in order to maintain the status quo, you fight tooth and nail to keep the business going against all odds. Such is the case with marriages. Any marriage that breaks up for any reason makes the managers of that marital venture lose credibility, not only in the eyes of the products of that marriage , but also in the eyes of the general public that bore witness to their marriage on their wedding day. It's simple logic. So, marriages of today are really facing tough times.
I also want to believe that the economic crunch in the country is a contributing factor to the failure of many marriages today. Things are really hard at every level. Most men are crushing under the weight of the biting times. Statistics have shown that sixty percent of men have developed high blood pressure in recent times. When things start falling apart for a man, the next person who is closest to him is his wife. She more often than not suffers the consequences. This is even worse in homes where the woman has nothing doing. It's so sad that in this day and age when the pocket of every man is being stretched with the economic decline in our country, most women still sit at home and allow the man to carry the financial burden of the home alone. It is absolutely a fast ticket to numerous fights and rancour in the home. It is also a sure ticket to an early grave for the man. This also applies to the man who sits back and allows the woman to be the breadwinner. It is also happening in many homes today. There are women that are now left to carry the burden of the home because of their plum jobs or thriving businesses. Yes. It is good for your wife to do well in her chosen field, but believe me when I say that you would live longer if you are the bread winner. Try and guard your position as the head of the family jealously so that your dignity would remain intact. My late mother-in-law always said, 'nwoke nwanyi na enye nni nwulu anwu', meaning that any man who is fed by a woman is a dead man'. 'Fed'in this context means 'being financially taken care of'. She was so right, God bless her soul. So, it helps the marriage institution when both couples pull their resources together instead and take care of the home. So you see, it still really boils down to the joint business venture I talked about, jointly managed by both parties. The man and the woman. Not one person. I am saying this with every surety because I am not a green horn in this business venture called marriage.
Marriage is a beautiful thing, no matter how bitter it is. The core element, surprisingly might not even be love. It is commitment. If you are committed to your marriage, you can make it last for fifty years whether the love is there or not. I think every couple should think about it. Sometimes you find out that your marriage does not have that love anymore for reasons you know better than anyone else. If you are committed to your union working, believe me, you will step back, take a good look at all the things in that marriage that you have struggled to put in place. That is the only motivation you need to make it work. You are the only one who has that power to take care of a worthy investment you put in so much energy in building.
At this point, I remain eternally grateful to the Almighty for seeing me through these past twenty-two years in my marriage. I thank Him for the gift of a good partner in the business venture called marriage. Good husbands are hard to come by, but I am blessed with one. I am grateful for the gift of the products of that marriage…such wonderful children. I thank Him for the happy moments and the sad ones. The laughter and the tears. The bitter times and the sweet times. The satisfaction I feel whenever I take a step back and take a good look at the structure I have built over the years of a beautiful and happy home. It is indeed a safe haven where I run to after my daily struggles, knowing I would find peace, love, and warmth waiting for me. Finally, I thank God for His presence in my home. It makes everything really easy, because it's so rewarding to cast my burdens on a God who is as faithful as He is steadfast. I feel loved. I feel fulfilled. I feel really thankful. Thank you Jesus! Thank you my Lord !!